All you need to know about Pentecost in the Netherlands: 2021

Spring season comes with all sorts of public holidays in the Netherlands, and the Pentecost is the next one on the list.

Pentecost, also known as Whit Sunday and Monday, falls on May 24 this year, so what’s there to expect from this holiday and what are its origins?

A brief history of the holiday

The Pentecost is a Catholic celebration and it signifies the day the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven and revealed itself to the Apostles. The date on which it’s celebrated depends on the date Easter falls on, but it always happens 50 days after Easter. The name Whit comes from the white robes that people who are baptised wear.

How is it celebrated?

In normal situations, Whit Sunday and Monday are celebrated with music festivals and markets throughout the Netherlands. The most famous music festival that happens is the Pinkpop Festival, which attracts over 60,000 people and many famous musicians from around the world.

Throughout cities, market stalls and musical performances are held, and on the Monday of the holiday there’s the Day of the Castle, dedicated to celebrating castle heritage in the Netherlands.

However, due to the coronavirus crisis, the big events and festivities cannot take place any longer. What can we expect of the holiday this year, however?

May 24: Pentecost in a pandemic

This year (much like last year) celebrations of Pentecost must be coronavirus-friendly. That being said, there are still a few ways you can spend your long weekend.

Thanks to the latest round of relaxations, one potential way to spend the weekend is on the terraces! You can now enjoy a beer or 12 between the hours of 6 AM and 8 PM due to extended opening hours.

Another option is to head to an open-air theme park or zoo. The doors have been open to visitors since May 18 — however, in an open air capacity. This means you can enjoy outdoor attractions, which is easier than it sounds! Just make sure you maintain a 1.5-meter distance from other visitors and regularly sanitize your hands.

Day of the castle

Fun fact: May 24 is also the day of the castle! On Whit Monday, castle doors across the Netherlands open their doors to the public. Of course, due to coronavirus, the rules around the castle’s openings may be slightly different this year. But the good news is there’s plenty to choose from.

READ MORE | A guide to 11 breathtaking castles in the Netherlands

While this holiday will be during extraordinary circumstances, do take some time off to rest and enjoy this long weekend — God knows you deserve it!

What are you planning on doing during this holiday? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: 12019/Pixabay
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2020, and was fully updated in May 2021 for your reading pleasure.

Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad was born and raised in Brasov, Romania and came to the Hague to study. When he isn't spending time missing mountains or complaining about the lack of urban exploration locations in the Netherlands, you can find him writing at Dutch Review.

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